Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2005-2007 Xterra appears to have a widespread defect where coolant leaks into the transmission, causing transmission failure around 90,000 miles. Repair costs are typically upwards of $3,500.

The same defect exists in the Pathfinder & Frontier as well. And according to the New York Times & a class action lawsuit, the defect actually extends through 2010 model year. More info here.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,093 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Nissan Xterra engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #73

Oct 262015


  • 112,000 miles


In October 2015 I noticed that my Xterra was overheating and the transmission was slipping at times. When I removed the radiator cap to check the coolant, it looked foamy and milky, like a lime smoothie. I thought I might have a blown head gasket and took the vehicle to my mechanic, who told me about the issue with Nissan radiator and transmission cross-contamination. He told me that flushing the systems would not help and the entire cooling system and transmission would need to be replaced to the tune of about $6500, which I didn't have. He told me to contact Nissan. Unfortunately, at the time my Xterra was diagnosed, it had 112,000 miles on it, which was beyond the scope of Nissan's extended warranty which came about as a result of the class-action lawsuit. The only thing they did for me was give me a refund on a recall item for which I'd paid before the recall came out. They also offered me a "business associate's" discount on another Nissan--as if I'd buy one after this! because I am mobility challenged, I must have a vehicle to get to work, doctors' visits, etc. I was forced to buy another vehicle. The payments have me so strapped for cash that once I get my bills paid there's nothing left for groceries or pet food, much less putting gas in my car! I am so disgusted with Nissan for putting me in this position I can't even put it into words.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #72

Apr 222016


  • 82,000 miles
The dealer informed me after replacing my transmission that the timing chain tensions guides will need to be replaced. The truck has 82K miles and gets regular maintenance. I research the issue on the web and this is a chronic design problem. The engine could incur severe damage during use which could lead to a loss of control and severe accident.

- Newcastle, WA, USA

problem #71

Apr 192016


  • 82,000 miles
The dealer informed me that the timing chain components are wearing and could break resulting in an engine abrupt stoppage. Many complaints on line about this condition. Nissan design defect.

- Newcastle, WA, USA

problem #70

Mar 212016


  • 130,000 miles


Engine died on the way to work because of a recall unknown to me but shared with me after my mechanic found information on radiator and transmission

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #69

Feb 282016


  • 115,000 miles
At 115,000 miles my transmission died. In one week it went from a few jerky shifts to me crawling into the dealer not being able to go over 20 mph. Upon further inspection the transmission cooler leaked fluid into the transmission and basically shredded the transmission. Im now stuck with a 3700 dollar repair bill.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #68

Oct 162015


  • 111,642 miles
Coolent leaked into transmission. After pressing the gas pedal down several times, the car was not getting up to speed as normal. Immediately took to car repair shop, which informed us this was one of several Nissan cars they had dealt with recently and guessed correctly our issue. Transmission had to be rebuilt, very costly.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #67

Dec 132015


  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the fuel gauge failed to provide accurate reading levels when the vehicle was refueled. In addition, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #66

Nov 142015


  • 80,961 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled. After several attempts, the vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V5170000 (engine, engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,961.

- Lawndale, CA, USA

problem #65

Oct 222015


  • 108,500 miles
No problems in five years of ownership. The following took place in less than 7 days. Truck was fueled up at costco and 30 minutes later was shuddering when stopped, we thought we got a bad tank of gas. Truck had a check engine light. Misfiring cylinder, coil replaced. Two days later, check engine light. Replaced O2 sensor. A day or two later check engine light. Had a loss of power. Truck was in limp mode. Drove to the dealer and they diagnosed replacing the failed catalytic converter (right rear) and the timing chain, tensioners etc. Salesman said that we should have changed the timing chain at 60,000 miles. Which I have never seen listed in the maintenance. The truck was purchased used at 64,000 miles.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #64

Oct 012014


  • 130,200 miles
The accelerator started not switching gears as I was merging onto the freeway. Then, the transmission gave out. The fluid from the transmission leaked into the radiator and both need to be replaced. It is estimated to cost $4,000 to get fixed.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #63

Aug 172015


  • 117,400 miles


The first incident was a couple months ago when my car just decided to stop in traffic all the sudden. Just shut down. Then yesterday I was driving to work and a car in front of me decided to slow down. When I hit the breaks to slow down the car would not accelerate back up it decreased. I could not get it to go. I restarted the car and it turned on and went again. I looked at this website and saw all the complaints.I have had all the same issues with stalling, not starting, and no acceleration. I took it to a transmission shop and they could not detect anything wrong as no codes and of course it did not do it for them when they test drove it. I took my car to the Nissan dealership showed them the print out from this site and told them I am having all those problems within the last couple months. They told me since my VIN was not included in the recall they basically could not help without charging me $900 for a radiator plus the engine control module $78. I had to pay $100 just for them to look at it. They told me a whole new transmission would be $9000. This is a horrible problem this vehicle is having and is very dangerous for your car to just turn off while driving. I have a small child in the car with me. Very scary would could happen. I do not care what the mileage is on the vehicle. Nissan needs to include all Xterra's no matter what the VIN is for the time frame! all these complaints need action. I little to quinky dink they are all happening now! Nissan dealership told me they would recommend: ECM relay $78, radiator $740, plus some other maintenance stuff. When I went to leave after having them replace the. ECM I had a lovely letter stating they did a complimentary appraisal of my vehicle. They did everything to confirm it is the problem, but offered no help unless I fork out the $$$$$.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #62

Jul 272015


  • 144,000 miles
I was driving to a local city pool and the car appeared to lose power. I restarted the car and reached the pool. When I went to start the car, it wouldnt start. Thinking it might be the battery, I had someone try to jump start it but nothing happened. Had my car towed to a local mechanic the following morning and learned that the transmission would need to be replaced as the radiator fluid had mixed with the transmission fluid due to a faulty sensor. Now I have a perfectly nice vehicle that wont run unless I pay to have the transmission and radiator replaced. I just bought it in February 2014. It is not covered under the class action suit because it has 144,000 miles on it.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #61

Jun 242015


  • 116,500 miles
Cracked radiator hose caused coolant to mix with transmission fluid thereby ruining the transmission. Cost included radiator and transmission (used) replacement. This issue would have been proactively repaired / replaced the radiator prior to the issue occurring had Nissan notified me of it. Instead, it cost an extra $3500 to replace both radiator and transmission. A totally preventable situation, never mind the potentially hazardous situation had the transmission failed at highway speeds. No excuse for Nissan.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #60

Apr 012015


  • 150,000 miles
While driving and trying to enter a major highway at about 40 mph and trying to accelerate, I had to pull out to the shoulder because the truck wouldn't shift to a higher gear...I had to get out of the highway because the truck wasn't able to accelerate and remained on 1st shift struggling to get to 2nd and then 3rd....I got home and heard the engine or radiator make bubbling noise....after 3 or 4 hours I opened the radiator and saw all sorts of gunk like was still warm and it oozed out falling all over my driveway...I payed a mechanic $300 to change the radiator thinking it was the problem...only to find out it was much more and more money also....I looked for another mechanic and he said it would cost $4000 to fix everything... I've wasted more than $3000 trying to figure out what the problem is.. now the mechanic says that a new transmission module valve is many more trucks breaking down or complaints until this issue is resolved.... I was lucky that when I was on the highway no cars were coming full speed...because without being able to accelerate I would of caused an accident and gotten killed...I loved my truck and miss riding it...please look into this... thank you..

- Del Valle , TX, USA

problem #59

Jan 202015


  • 131,500 miles
As I came up to stop at a red light, the Xterra began to shudder and the tachometer started rising and falling until I finally stopped, then the tachometer dropped below 500 RPM and the truck turned off. Restarted it fine, but it stalled again. I quickly figured out that although it is an automatic, I needed to drive it like a manual. So I put it in neutral, started it again, it did not stall, then I revved the engine to 2,000 RPM and put it into drive. Off I went, and it did not do it again that day. However, over the next month it became a growing problem, until it finally was occurring every single time I stopped unless I put it in neutral. I took it to the mechanic who spent 4 hours diagnosing it to be certain of the problem. Which they said was a failing torque convertor and plate. It failed due to coolant leaking into the transmission from a broken housing coming off of the radiator (apparently a very common problem for which Nissan refuses to take responsibility). Not hard to verify their findings due to the presence of pink milkshake looking liquid in the radiator. Final verdict, at best it needs a new torque convertor and plate, but with the amount of effort to install those and unknown further damage from the coolant leak, a new transmission was recommended.

- Powhatan, VA, USA

problem #58

Apr 232015


  • 93,570 miles
Timing chains issues. Specifically timing chain guides and tensioners stopped functioning. Repair cost $985. Crankshaft position sensor stopped functioning. Repair cost $590.

- Reseda, CA, USA

problem #57

Nov 152014


  • 130,000 miles
Radiator, which was recalled and I was never notified about, cracked leaking coolant into the transmission ultimately causing the transmission to fail

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #56

Apr 232015


  • 94,000 miles
The car suddenly stalled without any warning. Total loss of ability regarding steering and braking was encountered. The ignition key lock switch functions become unresponsive following the stalling engine. Meaning that when the key was turned the engine would turn over but, the engine would not remain on.

- Reseda, CA, USA

problem #55

Mar 112015


  • 101,000 miles
Driver was heading at approximately 45 mph, and engine died. Had towed to Nissan mechanic. The issue was diagnosed as a timing chain failure, which led to catastrophic/un-repairable engine failure. Needed complete engine replacement.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #54

Nov 152014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the fuel gauge was not giving a proper reading level and that the vehicle stalled from low fuel more than once. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 10V075000 (fuel system, gasoline). The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 10V517000 (engine and engine cooling) and was waiting for the part to become available and schedule the recall repair. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

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